So you've decided to get your brand set up with a Twitter profile. Amazing! Welcome to the tribe, friend.
As with every social media network, an important first step is to complete your profile. If you have been on Twitter for awhile and haven't yet done all of the things on this list - go and do them NOW!
Completing your profile makes you more credible, visible, and accessible. Our attention is finite; we maybe spend 1 or 2 seconds glancing at Twitter profiles as we surf and if there's anything in your organization's bio that makes you look like a robot, you WILL be passed over. Be human - include photos and real details.
Here are the things you need in order to set up your complete profile (in no rank order - just do them all):
1) Your username should be your real name (or your organization's name).
This is important for three reasons: brand awareness, SEO, and human connection. One of my personal principles is to include your name anywhere you possibly can. Build your brand, whether it's your personal brand or your organization's brand. For example, I have a unique name (Laurie de Fleuriot de la Colinière). I let that define me - in fact, I USE it as a tool to help define my personal brand. I include my name everywhere! If you want your followers to recognize you and remember you, you need to stay consistent with your brand name. Use it as a keyword so you show up in both Twitter and Google searches. If you're an individual looking to build your personal brand, your name is an asset that can be used to start real connections. If you're an individual tweeting on behalf of your nonprofit organization, include that brand name also if possible.
2) Add a profile picture.
No one likes an egg-head. It is NEVER okay to leave your profile picture as the default egg image. Your profile pic should have a human in it! You're a human, right? Your profile should reflect who YOU are. If you're a huge brand like Wal-Mart or Starbucks, that's when you can use a company logo in this place. If you're tweeting on behalf of your organization, I highly recommend using a photo of a human - either of you or of your team.
3) Add a cover photo too.
Twitter cover photos act in a similar way to Facebook cover photos. They're an opportunity to showcase what your org does or to provide some additional details that tell your story. You can use this space to offer additional information that doesn't fit into your bio section. Use the cover photo to show people who you are. For example, our photo is a pic of me and my husband (and business partner) together on a beautiful sunny day, laughing and having a good time. I leave this pic up not because it tells my followers about my business offerings but because it represents what I (and our business) value most in life - family and personal connection. It shows people who we are. People who resonate with the emotion behind this photo are more likely to follow us on Twitter - and frankly, those that find our story appealing are the ONLY people I want to be connected with.
4) Use keywords in your bio.
Write this section with SEO in mind. Who is your target audience and what are the terms they are searching with to find you? Do you provide resources for military families? Use words like "military", "armed forces", "army spouse", or relevant hashtags like #armywife or #milspouse. That said, PLEASE do not use the bio section to just string together a bunch of random keywords with no logical order or sense. Use your Twitter bio to tell your story, describe what you're about, and what you will be tweeting.
5) Don't forget your organization's website.
You must, must, MUST include your website URL. Organizations using social media should have a number of goals in mind. Social media allows you to reach a wider audience, tell your story in a highly visual and human way, and build new relationships. All of that is fantastic. BUT! Ultimately, your primary goal is to convert. Convert your social media fans and followers either into consumers of your product or service or supporters of your cause. You need to include a link to your organization website on every single one of your social media profiles. Guide people to your website where they can learn more about how you can help them (or how they can help you). If you're missing this, you're missing the point of social media.
6) Take off the privacy setting!
By allowing your tweets to be public, you're enabling them to come up in Twitter search and Google search. If your goal is to use Twitter to spread awareness about your org's brand or about your product or service you should NEVER leave your account 'protected'. Your potential customers and supporters will be unable to find you or your message. This setting is really only helpful for companies who are using Twitter as an intranet tool or individuals who want to lock down their accounts so strangers can't see pics of their kids. This setting is not for you.
Go now and do these six things. You are undermining ALL of your other activity on Twitter if you do not have a complete profile. A complete profile is the foundation of a strong social media presence. Tweet this.
Want to know how your profile is doing? Tweet us at @LdeFleuriot and we'll give you personalized suggestions on what you can improve!